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TNACI Director Receives Audubon & Toyota Conservation Fellowship

6/21/2012 3:05:26 PM

Dr. Anna George teaches students from Valley Point Middle School about freshwater biodiversity at a recent Conasauga logperch release.

Above image: Dr. Anna George, director of the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute (TNACI), teaches students from Valley Point Middle School about freshwater biodiversity at a recent Conasauga logperch release. This new award will help support educational activities during “Conservation Leadership in Action Week” in Chattanooga.

Contacts: Brenda Timm (212) 979-3198 /
Thom Benson (423) 785-3007


Prestigious Award Furthers Efforts of Local Environmental Leader

 New York, NY, June 21, 2012 – Toyota and the National Audubon Society today announced that a TogetherGreen Fellowship award will be given to Dr. Anna George, Director of Chattanooga’s Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute. After a competitive nationwide selection process, the career environmentalist will receive a fellowship award for her week-long teen summer camp that will explore conservation problems and solutions in Chattanooga.

TogetherGreen, a conservation initiative of the National Audubon Society and Toyota, selects 40 high-potential local leaders annually to receive a $10,000 grant. With the funds, Fellows conduct community projects to engage diverse audiences in habitat, water, or energy conservation. In addition to receiving support launching their conservation initiatives, the Fellows also benefit from specialized training and the opportunity to become part of an exciting alumni network of conservation professionals.

“Anna is an environmental hero. She and the other TogetherGreen Fellows help people engage with nature. They look like America: diverse, passionate, and patriotic,” said Audubon President David Yarnold. “Anna is a leader, and we’re pleased to give her a chance to invent the future.”

George’s “Conservation Leadership in Action Week” grant project will engage students from regional schools in major environmental problems and enable them to take a direct role in solving them. Students will participate in paddle, hike, snorkel, and bike trips, sample local foods, and learn how to prepare meals healthy for both them and their environment. They will also work in small groups with conservation leaders and teachers in their community to develop projects that can be instituted in their own neighborhoods when they leave camp.

“The goal is to foster a passion for the environment and to provide a safe place for students to discuss and tackle some of today’s pressing environmental problems,” George explained. “It’s part of a long-term strategy to integrate conservation into the daily lives of Chattanooga's teens.”

In an extensive career as an environmental advocate, George organized the first three meetings of the Southeastern Fishes Council (a gathering of scientists and managers that identifies rivers for fish conservation), initiated a partnership with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Conasauga River Alliance to restore wildlife habitat in northwest Georgia, and leads a twice-yearly, hands-on program in regional rivers that gets area students involved in improving their watershed, among other conservation ventures.

The TogetherGreen Fellowship Program invests in high-potential individuals from all backgrounds, providing them with resources, visibility, and a growing peer network to help them lead communities nationwide to a healthier environmental future. To date, 200 environmental leaders from across the country have been awarded TogetherGreen fellowships. These leaders have worked with nearly 500 organizations and engaged over 100,000 people in community-based conservation action, achieving results in habitat, water, and energy.
 A complete list of the 2012 TogetherGreen Fellows and details about their conservation projects can be found at
About TogetherGreen 
Audubon and Toyota launched the TogetherGreen initiative in 2008 to foster diverse environmental leadership and fund innovative conservation ideas. TogetherGreen funding recipients have helped protect 250 species of birds and other wildlife, improved 10,000 acres of habitat, mobilized 220,000 individuals, collected two million pounds of recyclables, and captured $5 million worth of volunteer time. For more information, visit

About Audubon
Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature, and the environment that supports us all. Our national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education, and advocacy programs engages millions of people from all walks of life in conservation action to protect and restore the natural world. Visit Audubon online at    

About Toyota
Toyota established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants and has a network of nearly 1,500 dealerships. Toyota directly employs over 30,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services, and design

Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. The company supports numerous organizations across the country focusing on education, the environment, and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed over half-a-billion dollars to philanthropic programs in the U.S.  

For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit or 

The Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute (TNACI) is the conservation and research arm of the Tennessee Aquarium, a non-profit 501(c)(3) institution. Created in 1996, TNACI promotes conservation of the Southeast’s aquatic species and their habitats by focusing on scientific research, ecosystem restoration and the reintroduction of native aquatic species.  The Tennessee Aquarium, with its large and diverse audience, serves as a vehicle for sharing TNACI’s field work and the practical, real-world implications of conservation efforts.

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